Spiritual healing by the dollar…
March 28th, 2019
My morning routine is to get up in the morning, feed the cats, let the dog out to go to the bathroom, while I wait I review the social media updates put on my timeline overnight to see if there is something not worthy that has appeared that I should respond to.
This normally amounts to scanning over roughly 10-15 new posts and a few suggested friends. It takes only a few minutes and by the time I’m done with it I am beginning to wake up. Then I pray and start my devotional time. Often, in doing this someone will have shared a bible verse or a quote from a renowned minister of the Gospel, that will provide the inspiration for writing this devotional.
This is how my day typically begins. There are variations, but typically from the time my feet hit the floor and the scriptures are opened is about 15-20 minutes.
This morning was one of those exceptions.
I was delayed when as I reviewed the connection suggestions a person showed up who when I looked at their profile espoused to be a Certified Spiritual Healer! He claims to provide both spiritual and physical healing and had been certified to do so.
The hair on the back of my neck bristled as I read this. Given the profound growth of false teaching and apostasy that is prevalent today, I was curious if this ‘certification’ business was legitimate or had this guy just crafted a cleverly worded document and printed it out on parchment to hang on the wall of his office.
It shocked me when I not only could verify that there were certifications offered by associations connected to this spiritual and physical healing; they offered courses and testing to become certified.
Immediately what crossed my mind was the magician Simon.
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
Acts 8:9-11 (ESV)
So, this individual had gathered a following based on his practice of performing magic.
The scripture says the apostles in Jerusalem came to understand that the efforts of Philip preaching the Gospel to the Samarians had been fruitful; they sent Peter and John to minister to these new believers.
Simon observed the two Apostles of Jesus laying hands on the believers so they might receive the Holy Spirit. Simon desired he would be given the ability to impart the Holy Spirit…
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 8:18-19 (ESV)
Simon wanted to be certified. Simon offered to pay for power to do this, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter was not impressed, and responded to Simon the magician…
But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
Acts 8:20-23 (ESV)
Even after this Simon demonstrated a lack of understanding and sincerity. Rather than repent as he had been instructed, he pleaded with the apostles to pray on his behalf that this plight might not fall upon him.
False teaching and apostacy
Many know me for my writings and aren’t aware that I have had a substantial career in Information Technology.
Anymore, there are professional certifications for about anything you can think of related to technology.
Back in the early days of my career I became a Certified Network Engineer. These certifications, were highly treasured by the engineers that secured them, and the businesses seeking to hire qualified professional network engineers. The CNE certification was the networking company’s means of verifying that those espousing to be skilled in the ability to configure, manage, and construct computer networks were competent in what they were purposed to do.
It wasn’t too many years down the road when “Certification Boot Camp’s” and test batteries became ever more popular. With these tools, you didn’t have to learn the trade, instead, you learned the certification tests and how to pass them without the requisite understanding of how or why the answers to the tests were what they were.
Those of us that had come up the old way and had learned the technology often referred to these people as “Paper CNE’s”. They passed the certification exam but you wouldn’t want to allow them to configure a server because they didn’t have a clue what was involved in making these marvels of computer communications function.
Today, this certification craze has gone to the extreme where experience and real knowledge are too difficult for businesses to evaluate and organizations depend strictly on the result of memorized test questions and associations with groups that lend credence to individuals supposed competence.
Simon was looking for certification.
I guess I hadn’t realized that the apostacy of the Gospel of Jesus had come the point where snake oil salesman would seek to become certified in spiritual gifts, but it’s apparent that this is the case.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:24-27 (ESV)
So, if they say, look here I’m a prophet of god, I’m an apostle with new revelations from the Lord, I’m a certified spiritual healer, or any other claim that only comes as a direct gift of the Holy Spirit’s instruction; beware.
These people are promoting a false gospel that isn’t of Christ Jesus. They are promoting themselves and attempting to convince you they have been granted unique and special power by God through the certification of man. Versions of Simon the Magician abound today. Deviations from the truth of God’s Word are everywhere. You, the disciple of Jesus must rely on His Word and His Spirit in you to discern what is good and true, faithful to God’s Word.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
1 John 4:1-3 (ESV)
We don’t require a “Certified Healer”, we need only Jesus, who loved us so much, that he gave his life for us, so we might have life and have it more abundantly!
Walk in Christ Jesus,